Placeholder Content Image

Father remembered for "instinctive act of bravery" before train tragedy

<p>A family outing has ended in tragedy when a pram carrying twin girls rolled onto the train tracks at Carlton railway station in Sydney.</p> <p>CCTV footage showed the family heading off on their outing just several minutes before tragedy struck.</p> <p>They were walking down the footpath, with the father holding the pram and the mother pulling a trolley bag, before waiting to cross the road to the train station. </p> <p> The parents had arrived on the platform via an elevator and taken their hands off the pram for a "very, very short period of time" when it began to roll, according to NSW Police Superintendent Paul Dunstan. </p> <p>The 40-year-old father is being remembered for his bravery, after he jumped onto the tracks to try and save his twin daughters.</p> <p>Horrified witnesses also tried to flag the train down, but unfortunately it was too late. Emergency services were called to the station at around 12:25 pm.</p> <p>The father and one of the two-year-old girls were killed, and the girls' mother who witnessed the accident unfold was left "incredibly traumatised" according to the Superintendent.</p> <p>Dunstan told reporters several hours after the tragedy that responding officers could hear crying from underneath the train.</p> <p>“Police climbed under the train and rescued one of the children, who was thankfully unharmed, and reunited her with the mother," Dunstan said.</p> <p>“Sadly, the other child, a two-year-old female, and her father who attempted to save the child, have passed away as a result of this incident.”</p> <p>“Whether it’s a gust of wind ... we’re not quite sure. But it appears that the pram has instantly started to roll in the direction of the train lines.”</p> <p>The father has been praised for his "brave and heroic" act. </p> <p>“He’s gone into parent mode and tried to save his two young daughters that have fallen onto the tracks and in doing so it’s cost his life, but it’s an incredibly brave and heroic act,” Dunstan said.</p> <p>The other daughter, who had survived, had fallen between the tracks and was "lucky" to have escaped injury, Dunstan added.</p> <p>The train was heading from Cronulla to the City and wasn't due to stop at Carlton.</p> <p>A police investigation is underway and the National Rail Safety Regulator had also been informed.</p> <p>Premier Chris Minns described the incident as a “terrible, terrible tragedy”.</p> <p>“This is a very confronting and sad day for the St George community,” he said.</p> <p>“I hope over time they can gain some small solace knowing that the father died from an extraordinary, instinctive act of bravery.</p> <p>“That’s not going to bring him or his little daughter back. But it shouldn’t go unremarked upon in the face of a terrible, terrible accident, he gave his own life to try and save his children.”</p> <p><em>Images: Channel 9</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Elderly driver hailed a hero amid fatal bus tragedy

<p>An elderly driver has been hailed a hero for saving lives after getting caught up in a horror crash between a Greyhound bus and a car towing a caravan.</p> <p>The accident left three women dead and 27 other passengers injured, after the coach allegedly veered onto the opposite side of the  Bruce Highway at Gumlu, in north Queensland at around 11am on Sunday. </p> <p>The coach was travelling between Brisbane and Townsville, with 33 people onboard when it collided with a caravan towed by a 4WD. </p> <p>The elderly couple, who were in the 4WD were miraculously not injured. </p> <p>Witnesses have praised the elderly male driver for his quick-thinking skills, when he drove his vehicle out of the way of the oncoming bus - which saved the lives of people driving behind him. </p> <p>"He was a hero for his actions,"  Janice Beavis told the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p> <p>“They [the elderly couple] were behaving safely. The bus hit the van, the driver [of the 4WD] was trying to get away.</p> <p>“He saved himself and his wife and the mum and three girls travelling behind him.”</p> <p>56-year-old Townsville woman, Emma ‘Alli’ Sailor, and two German women aged in their 20s and 30s sadly passed away in the crash. </p> <p>Four people remain in hospital, including two men in their 20s who are fighting for their lives, and two other men, aged 27 and 51, who are in stable conditions. </p> <p>The bus was reportedly running behind schedule, leaving Rockhampton at 2am instead of the planned departure time at 12:45. </p> <p>The speed limit at the section of the highway where the accident occurred was 100km/h.</p> <p>Detectives are investigating whether fatigue could have played a role in the crash. </p> <p>“We haven’t determined any factors that have contributed to the crash at this stage, but certainly a crash of this nature, involving this many people, is a very significant, very tragic incident for us,” Police Superintendent Graeme Paine said at a press conference on Sunday.</p> <p>Anyone who may have seen the crash or have dashcam footage have been urged to contact police. </p> <p>On Monday morning, Police Superintendent Paine said that more witnesses will be interviewed to determine the cause of the crash. </p> <p>“We’ve collected a significant amount of evidence from the scene,” he said.</p> <p>“As we process that evidence and interview further witnesses, we anticipate getting a clearer picture of exactly how it occurred." </p> <p><em>Image: news.com.au</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Search for trapped Sydney woman ends in tragedy

<p>The search for a woman in her 30s caught in the middle of an explosion in Western Sydney has ended in tragedy. </p> <p>Jasmin Mhey was the only person unaccounted for after a townhouse in Western Sydney was destroyed in an explosion on Saturday afternoon, caused by a suspected gas leak. </p> <p>Now, more than 30 hours after the blast, search and rescue teams on Monday confirmed they had located the body of a woman, who has yet to be formally identified. </p> <p>The frantic search for Ms Mhey began on Saturday after the explosion, but was hampered by wet weather.</p> <p>On Monday morning, police confirmed in a statement that the body of a woman had been found.</p> <p>“Following an extensive search operation over the weekend, the body of a woman was found about 3.20am on Monday at the scene," the statement said. </p> <p>“The woman is yet to be formally identified. A report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.” </p> <p>Neighbours on Sunday told of how the missing woman’s mother reacted when she found out her daughter was caught up in the blast.</p> <p>“She broke out crying a couple of times,” neighbour Evelyn said.</p> <p>“But then she kept saying, ‘my daughter’s strong, my daughter’s strong, my daughter’s strong’.”</p> <p>Emergency services are yet to establish what caused the blast, which will be subject to a NSW Police investigation, although police were initially called to the area to reports of a gas explosion.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Bondi Junction Westfield reopens after stabbing tragedy

<p>Bondi Junction Westfield has reopened five days after the devastating stabbing tragedy that claimed the lives of six people and injured several others. </p> <p>Before the centre opened at 11am on Thursday, dozens of people lined up to pay their respects to those who have died at the "community reflection day" held at the centre. </p> <p>The centre was lined with images of black commemorative ribbons to honour those who lost their lives on Saturday, when 40-year-old Joel Cauchi went on his stabbing rampage through the centre. </p> <p>Speaking from inside the Westfield today, one woman told news.com.au said she was returning to the centre with her toddler because she works in one of the stores and wanted to get used to going inside again after the tragic events. </p> <p>Another man said he felt compelled to come today because “everyone in Sydney has been to Bondi Junction at some point”.</p> <p>He noted how it felt “weird” to be there but he thought it was important the victims didn’t go “unseen”.</p> <p>Similarly, a young woman that works down the road in nearby Eastgate shopping centre said she was here today to “pay her respects”. She also noted it felt like the “safest” day to return to the shopping centre because of the ramped up police presence. </p> <p>Scentre Group, which owns and operates the shopping centre, said there would be no retail trade on the day of reflection, but shops would open for business on Friday with an increased police and security presence.</p> <p>“The centre will be quiet — it will allow for reflection to occur,” chief executive Elliott Rusanow said.</p> <p>The shopping centre will resume normal trading hours on Friday, although Rusanow said some businesses would remain shut.</p> <p>“It will be their (retailers’) choice when they want to re-open,” he said.</p> <p>“This has been a very difficult time and I want to acknowledge the hard work and tireless efforts of our Westfield Bondi and Scentre Group teams,” Mr Rusanow said.</p> <p>“They have been working through conditions which have been devastating in their minds and in all our minds."</p> <p>Premier Chris Minns said the devastating attack had touched people across NSW, regardless of whether they knew the victims.</p> <p>“This vigil will be an opportunity for the community to stand together to support and honour the victims and survivors of this horrific tragedy,” he said.</p> <p>“I hope they can draw some strength from the fact that there’s many people that are standing with them during this time.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Why is the Sydney church stabbing an act of terrorism, but the Bondi tragedy isn’t?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greg-barton-10990">Greg Barton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>Just days after the deadly <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-14/several-killed-in-mass-stabbing-at-westfield-bondi-junction/103705354">Westfield Bondi attacks</a>, a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-16/albanese-says-there-is-no-place-for-violence-in-our-community/10372830">second knife attack</a> in Sydney has generated widespread shock and grief. This time, a 16-year-old entered an Assyrian church and rushed forward to stab the popular bishop presiding over a service, together with a priest who rushed to his defence. The shocking events were captured on the church’s video stream, and the news quickly reached thousands of members of Sydney’s large Assyrian community.</p> <p>While both priests were injured, thankfully the knife blows were not fatal. Parishioners immobilised the attacker, and police and paramedics swarmed the church. Police moved quickly to identify the assailant and analyse his apparent motivation before announcing they were treating the attack as a <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-68823240">terrorist incident</a> early this morning.</p> <p>Public knife attacks are rare in Australia, and for Sydney to experience two in quick succession has rightfully alarmed many and, understandably, led to comparisons between the two. A lot of the discussion is around why the Bondi Junction shopping mall attack in which six were killed wasn’t considered terrorism, but this shocking, but non-lethal, attack was.</p> <p>So what do we know about the church attack, and what important distinctions can be made between it and the awful events at Bondi?</p> <h2>What happened at the church?</h2> <p>Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel has developed a large following, not just in Australia but in the Assyrian diaspora <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-16/who-is-bishop-mar-mari-emmanuel-wakeley-church-attack/103728808">around the world</a>, with his live-streamed sermons. Shortly after seven o'clock on Monday night, the video feed of the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Sydney’s outer west went dead, but not before it captured the shocking attack and parishioners rushing forward to help.</p> <p>Almost immediately, crowds gathered outside the church. We don’t yet know the motivations of the people who turned up, but it can be assumed they were there because they either saw or heard of what had happened and rushed over out of concern.</p> <p>Tragically, at some point the dynamics of the fast-swelling crowd took a dark turn. Instead of letting the large police and ambulance presence continue to handle the situation, some emotional onlookers turned on the authorities. Multiple police officers and paramedics were injured and vehicles were heavily damaged.</p> <p>It’s likely the fact the attack was captured on video, and therefore able to be shared and watched over and over again, added to the combustibility of an already volatile situation. It would appear the attack was deliberately planned to provoke an angry response. But what exactly happened in the crowd is the subject of one police investigation.</p> <h2>Why is it considered a terrorist act?</h2> <p>The other investigation is an anti-terrorism one. This is because while the teenager acted alone, it’s very likely they had received encouragement and backing from others. <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/unabomber">The Unabomber</a> is one of the very few documented cases of someone committing violence for ideological reasons truly in isolation.</p> <p>This lone actor attack in Sydney is reminiscent of the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-03/nsw-police-headquarters-gunman-was-radicalised-youth/6825028">2015 murder</a> of police accountant Curtis Cheng. He was shot dead by a 15-year-old who had been radicalised by supporters of Islamic State. It later came out <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-14/curtis-cheng-murder-surveillance-man-guilty-of-terror-plan/10900982">in court</a> the attack had been planned by three other people, who also supplied him with the gun.</p> <p>Police were quick to pronounce the knife attack on Monday to be an act of terrorism. Having identified the attacker, they would have been studying his social connections and examining his digital footprint.</p> <p>The police assessment would have also given attention to the particulars of the church targeted. <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Assyrian">Assyrians</a> (people from northwest Iraq, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey) are almost exclusively Christian, belonging to one of the oldest churches in existence, living in precisely that part of the world in which the Islamic State established its brutal caliphate.</p> <p>It’s telling that before the caliphate was established, Assyrians made up just 3% of the Iraqi population. But in the wake of Islamic State sweeping across northern Syria and Iraq, Assyrians soon made up <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/assyrian-australians-plead-for-second-special-refugee-settlement-deal/x7ej8ix2y">40%</a> of Iraqi refugees. The trauma of those years is <a href="https://theconversation.com/diversity-and-religious-pluralism-are-disappearing-amid-iraqs-crisis-29832">recent history</a>, fresh in the minds of many.</p> <p>The recent Islamic State claim of responsibility for the <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/03/27/europe/missing-people-russia-moscow-concert-hall-attack-intl/index.html">recent deadly attacks in Moscow</a>, is a reminder the group remains a live and growing threat. For these reasons police will be looking for any evidence Islamic State might have played a role in inspiring this attack.</p> <h2>Terrorism or not terrorism?</h2> <p>Events at the church have been under a bigger spotlight given the events of the days preceding it.</p> <p>Despite <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/apr/15/false-claims-started-spreading-about-the-bondi-junction-stabbing-attack-as-soon-as-it-happened">early misinformation</a>, police said thathey believe the Bondi killer, Joel Cauchi, was not motivated by a larger political cause – that is, a terrorist motivation. Instead, they say he lashed out violently because of anger control issues related to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/apr/14/joel-cauchi-who-was-the-queensland-man-who-carried-out-the-bondi-junction-mass-stabbing">mental ill-health</a>.</p> <p>But of the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/apr/14/bondi-junction-mass-stabbing-attack-who-are-the-six-victims">six people</a> he killed, five were women. Women also make up the majority of those injured. The one man who lost his life, security guard Faraz Tahir, a Muslim refugee from Pakistan, was attacked because he bravely <a href="https://www.1news.co.nz/2024/04/16/friend-of-bondi-security-guard-says-his-last-moments-were-brave/">rushed towards</a> danger in an attempt to try to stop Cauchi. NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said Cauchi <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-15/westfield-bondi-attack-stabbing-investigation/103706698">deliberately targeted women</a>.</p> <p>So if someone is targeting a specific group of people, isn’t that terrorism? Why does it matter if they were killing based on gender or religion? Is misogyny not terrorism?</p> <p>Put simply, the defining characteristic of terrorism is perpetuating violence in the name of a higher, broader cause. Terrorists have a belief in a collective goal, and see themselves as being backed by people who share that belief. Misogyny can be an element of their motivation and justification of hatred, but it’s part of a larger political project.</p> <p>Basically, it boils down to whether these violent actors think they’re part of a political or religious movement that’s going to <a href="https://theconversation.com/social-inclusion-is-important-in-aotearoa-new-zealand-but-so-is-speaking-honestly-about-terrorism-167429">change the system</a>, or whether they are simply angry men projecting loathing and driven by personal demons. The two, of course, are <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/not-since-the-lindt-siege-has-sydney-known-grief-like-this-20240414-p5fjnl.html">not mutually exclusive</a>.</p> <p>This is not to undermine the damage that angry men can, and do, inflict. Domestic violence is a bigger threat to Australians than terrorism. Calling something a terrorist act doesn’t make it more or less serious than anything else, rather the categorisation is to provide conceptual clarity for the sake of the ensuing investigation.</p> <p>Events at Westfield Bondi Junction and the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church are both awful, but while they share some similarities, they are different sorts of crimes with different drivers and enablers. As police investigations continue, we’ll come to better understand the nature of both.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227997/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greg-barton-10990">Greg Barton</a>, Chair in Global Islamic Politics, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-the-sydney-church-stabbing-an-act-of-terrorism-but-the-bondi-tragedy-isnt-227997">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Outpouring of support for baby girl after Bondi tragedy

<p>The heart-wrenching events that unfolded during Saturday's Bondi massacre shook not just Sydney, but all of Australia. Amid the sorrow and shock, however, there emerged a glimmer of hope and solidarity as Australians united to support the victims, particularly a nine-month-old baby girl named Harriet, who became a symbol of resilience in the face of tragedy.</p> <p>Harriet, the daughter of Ashlee Good, tragically lost her mother in the Bondi Westfield shopping centre attack perpetrated by Joel Cauchi. Ashlee, described by friends and family as a radiant presence, lost her life while heroically protecting her beloved daughter from the assailant's violence. The infant, Harriet, sustained stab wounds and was rushed to Sydney Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Thankfully, she has since been stabilised and moved out of ICU, but remains under close medical care.</p> <p>In response to this harrowing ordeal, the Australian community swiftly rallied together, demonstrating an outpouring of compassion and generosity. Within a mere three days, a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/Ash-Good" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe campaign</a> surpassed its initial goal of $100,000 by raising over $535,000 for Harriet's support. The fundraiser, initiated to alleviate the financial burdens faced by Harriet and her father, Dan, garnered support from both loved ones and strangers alike, reflecting the nation's collective grief and determination to provide solace in any way possible.</p> <p>The sentiments expressed within the fundraiser encapsulated the profound loss felt by those who knew Ashlee and the unwavering commitment she had to her family.</p> <p>"Our hearts were broken beyond comprehension as we learned of the tragic loss of our beautiful friend, Ash, in the stabbing attack at Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon," it reads. "<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Ash was a ray of sunshine and positivity in every aspect of her life and died a hero saving her little girl from the most unspeakable evil.</span></p> <p>"We have been overwhelmed by requests from loved ones and strangers wanting to support Dan and Harriet as they face life without their beloved Ash. Being a mother to baby Harriet and partner to Dan was Ash’s whole life. Her love and commitment to them was evident to all who knew her.</p> <p>We are united in our devastation that her bright future was cut short in this way. Her beautiful and warm spirit, drive and energy inspired us all."</p> <p>Ashlee's radiant spirit, her boundless love for her daughter and partner, and her selfless act of sacrifice resonated deeply with all who encountered her.</p> <p>The profound impact of the Bondi massacre extended beyond the immediate victims, as the entire nation mourned the loss of innocent lives and grappled with the senseless violence that shattered a community. The victims, including Yixuan Cheng, Pikria Darchia, Dawn Singleton, Faraz Tahir, Jade Young, and Ashlee Good, were remembered not just as statistics but as individuals whose lives were tragically cut short.</p> <p>The makeshift memorial at Bondi Junction served as a powerful symbol of remembrance and solidarity, adorned with an abundance of flowers and heartfelt messages from those touched by the tragedy. Friends and family of Ashlee Good gathered at the memorial, finding solace in the outpouring of support from their community.</p> <p>As the healing process begins, the ongoing support for Harriet and her family serves as a testament to the strength of community bonds and unwavering compassion. </p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Heartbreaking twist after mum dies on her way to a wedding

<p>A mother has been killed in a horrific car crash while on her way to a wedding in regional NSW, just hours after announcing she was expecting her third child. </p> <p>Shellymaine Ah Foon, 32, her partner Troy, and their two young daughters, aged six and two, were on their way to a wedding in Mudgee, NSW when their SUV crashed at Aarons Pass, about 2pm on Friday. </p> <p>Foon was left with critical injuries and was taken to Mudgee hospital, but soon passed away. </p> <p>Her partner was seriously injured and airlifted to Westmead Hospital to undergo surgery after suffering several fractures to both limbs on his left side. </p> <p>Their two daughters were also taken to the same hospital. </p> <p>A family member, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the sad detail to 7News. </p> <p>“We spoke to Shelly on the Thursday night, and she told us she was pregnant,” she said. </p> <p>“She was meant to go for tests when she came back from Mudgee to see how far along she was.”</p> <p>Foon was remembered as a "social butterfly" who could “strike up a conversation with anyone.” </p> <p>“She was very family oriented, was always there for anyone who needed anything, she was very selfless with her time,” the family member said. </p> <p>“Her death has really impacted a whole community of people,” she added. </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-loving-memory-of-shellymaine-ah-foon" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page has since been organised to help cover funeral costs, support Troy following his surgery, and help Foon's family, who are largely based overseas. </p> <p>“Troy won’t be able to go to work while he recovers,” the woman said.</p> <p>“He still has to undergo rehab, and he will be on crutches for some time.”</p> <p>Their two daughters have since been discharged from the hospital, and are in the care of family while Troy recovers. </p> <p>The family friend added that Foon's love for her kids was exceptional saying: “she was the light of Troy and her girls’ lives.</p> <p>“Their world has changed forever and the love their Mum gave them will never be replicated ever again.”  </p> <p>Police said investigations are still underway into the circumstances leading up to the crash, with the other driver taken to Mudgee Hospital with minor injuries. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

"This is a tragedy": Aussie aid worker killed in Gaza identified

<p>The identity of an Australian humanitarian worker killed in a recent airstrike in Gaza has been confirmed as Melbourne-born Lalzawmi "Zomi" Frankcom.</p> <p>Ms Frankcom, along with three other international aid workers and a Palestinian driver, was killed in Central Gaza while working with the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity, with video footage posted to social media showing their bodies at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The group were travelling through Northern Gaza into Central Gaza when their vehicle was targeted in an airstrike, Mahmoud Thabet, a Palestinian Red Crescent paramedic, <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/world/australian-aid-worker-killed-in-airstrike-in-central-gaza/69263304-6e35-42c9-bd71-5cea880a4d2b" target="_blank" rel="noopener">told the <em>Associated Press</em></a>.</span></p> <p>They had been distributing aid supplies to civilians in Northern Gaza and were returning to Central Gaza when the airstrike hit them. </p> <p>Staff produced the passports of three British, Australian and Polish workers who perished, with the nationality of the fourth not immediately known – however, all five were clothed in protective gear with the charity's logo on it.</p> <p>It is unclear why the vehicle was targeted, and the source of the strike has not been confirmed. </p> <p>WCK confirmed the attack with a statement: "We are aware of reports that members of the World Central Kitchen team have been killed in an IDF attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza."</p> <p>"This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER."</p> <p>Frankcom, 44, has engaged in both national and international humanitarian work, and helped provide aid to communities affected by the Blacksummer2019 bushfires in Braidwood, NSW, according to <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/world/australian-aid-worker-killed-in-airstrike-in-central-gaza/69263304-6e35-42c9-bd71-5cea880a4d2b" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News</a>.</p> <p>She successfully completed a course at Harvard University focusing on Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster in 2021. </p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told the ABC he was concerned by the news.</p> <p>"I'm very concerned about the loss of life that is occurring in Gaza," he said. "My Government has supported a sustainable ceasefire, we've called for the release of hostages, and there have been far too many innocent lives – Palestinian and Israeli – lost during the Gaza Hamas conflict."</p> <p><em>Image: Supplied</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Aussie surf icon Mick Fanning struck by family tragedy

<p>Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning has been struck by yet another devastating loss in his family. Reports have emerged confirming the passing of Fanning’s brother, Edward, who was in his 40s at the time of his death. This tragic event adds to the already heavy burden of grief that Fanning has endured over the years.</p> <p>The Fanning family has faced multiple heartbreaking losses in the past. In 2015, Mick lost his older brother Peter at the age of 43. Prior to that, in 1998, another of Mick’s brothers, Sean, tragically passed away in a car accident at the young age of 20.</p> <p>News of Edward’s passing came through a heartfelt message from Stevie Maher, a close friend of Edward and a prominent bodyboarder from Coolangatta.</p> <p>Maher took to Facebook to express his condolences and share his grief with the Fanning family. In his poignant post, Maher fondly reminisced about the cherished moments he shared with Edward:</p> <p>"Firstly I want to send my condolences to the Fanning family … mum Liz, dad John, sister Rachel and brother Mick,” Maher wrote. “My heart is broken to hear the passing of my best mate. I enjoyed and had so many amazing times with you Eddie. You were in my wedding party, had so many epic times together in Indo and we were just best mates. I’m goin’ to miss you Eddie and now you rest in peace.”</p> <p>Edward, who had been working at a surf camp in Madagascar, leaves behind a legacy of friendship, adventure and camaraderie. His presence will be deeply missed by all those who knew him, especially by his grieving family and closest friends.</p> <p>As the world mourns alongside Mick Fanning, we extend our deepest condolences to him and his family, hoping they find solace and strength in each other's love and the cherished memories they hold dear.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Christchurch attack victims' families reflect on tragedy five years on

<p>It's been five years since 51 men, women and children, were murdered in a terror attack when a white supremacist opened fire at Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.</p> <p>Now, the victims' families have reflected on the tragic day, and commemorated their loved ones on the five-year anniversary of the attacks.</p> <p>Dr Maysoon Salama, who lost her son Atta Elayyan, 33, relives the grief of losing her son every day.</p> <p>“The pain is still fresh,” she told <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p>Five years on, the good memories she shared with her son still play back in her mind.</p> <p>“Atta was an amazing son,” she said. “He’s touched the lives of so many people.”</p> <p>Despite the tragedy, Dr Salama remains strong and finds herself healing through her granddaughter Aya.</p> <p>“I feel like I see her father when I see her,” she said.</p> <p>“It’s a really hard journey ... but she has always been my focus.”</p> <p>Aya was two when she lost her father, and Dr Salama was faced with the heartbreaking task of helping her granddaughter adjust to a life without her father.</p> <p>“When I look her in the eyes and she will ask, ‘Where is my dad?’, what am I going to tell her?” she recalled thinking.</p> <p>“How are we going to tell her when she’s so attached to her daddy? She loved him so much.”</p> <p>Dr Salama's husband, Mohammad Alayan, was among the dozens of people hospitalised following the attack, with doctors at the time saying he was “lucky to survive”.</p> <p>“He had been shot twice. One in his head and it affected his vision and one in his shoulder and she said it was just a few millimetres away from his heart,” Maysoon said.</p> <p>The couple run a Muslim childcare centre An-Nur, and have worked together to help children navigate New Zealand's darkest days.</p> <p>She recalled the sinking feeling when she first heard of the attacks while at work, and how her husband's first instinct was to tell her to protect herself and everyone at the childcare centre.</p> <p>“I got a call from my husband and he told me he was in hospital and that I have a big responsibility to protect the children and the teachers and lock down, close the doors because he was afraid the shooter would also come to our place because we are a Muslim childcare centre,” she said.</p> <p>“More families who were distressed started coming to pick up their children, and some of them even had blood on their shirts, some of them witnessed the thing.</p> <p>“It was really an awful situation.”</p> <p>Not long after, she learned that her own son had also been injured, but at the time had no idea of the reality of it all.</p> <p>Aya Al-Umari lost her brother, Hussein, on the fateful day.</p> <p>“It happened so suddenly, I had no time to grieve,” she said.</p> <p>Hussein spent the last moments of his life protecting other people, and even though Aya misses his hugs more than anything, she takes comfort in knowing that her brother's legacy will live on.</p> <p>“He had the opportunity to escape, but he didn’t,” she said.</p> <p>“He was running towards the terrorist.</p> <p>“It really goes to show, especially in his last moments, he was always a giver.”</p> <p>Both Aya and Dr Salama both take comfort in the belief that their loved ones died as as a Shahid – a true martyr who died in the name of their faith in Islam.</p> <p>Dr Salama hopes that the findings from last year’s coronial inquest, expected to be handed down this year, will provide a sense of closure to the victims' families.</p> <p>She also hopes that people will use the fifth anniversary of the shootings to reflect on the work that is yet to be done and call for more action in fighting Islamophobia and extremism.</p> <p>“We can fight Islamophobia by challenging the biases and educating ourselves also and intervening against discrimination.</p> <p>“See something, say something.”</p> <p>Canterbury's Muslim community will also gather today to honour the victims with a commemoration service at Masjid Annur in the evening, according to<em> <a href="https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/511744/muslims-mark-5th-anniversary-of-christchurch-mosque-terror-attacks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">RNZ</a></em>.</p> <p>Brenton Tarrant, who was behind the terror attacks, was sentenced to life in jail without parole – the first person in New Zealand's history to receive the sentence because his actions were deemed "so wicked".</p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Billy Slater rocked by family tragedy

<p>Billy Slater has suffered a heartbreaking family tragedy, after his brother-in-law drowned while trying to save his nine-year-old daughter when she fell from their boat near Mackay, Queensland over the weekend. </p> <p>Ryan Craig - who was married to Slater's older sister Sheena - reportedly managed to keep his daughter afloat until a passing jet ski was able to pick her up. </p> <p>The father-of-four's body was found on Monday morning, with Slater and his family left devastated following the incident. </p> <p>Slater's former teammate, Cameron Smith, has opened up about the devastating phone call he had with the footy legend. </p> <p>"I found out Monday morning about this absolute tragedy. It happened Saturday afternoon up in the Mackay area where Billy's sister Sheena and her family live," <em>Smith told SEN's The Captain's Run with Cameron Smith and Denan Kemp.</em></p> <p>"They were just out on the water. They live very close to the dam where Ryan tragically passed away. And it's their regular place where they just go for family outings.</p> <p>"I rang Billy and spoke with him and he just said, 'Look, it's an absolutely tragic (set of) circumstances, given the situation'.</p> <p>"It's somewhere they spend a lot of time with the kids growing up. They've got four kids. They've got four little girls," he added. </p> <p>Smith then claimed that after Craig's daughter fell in the water, "a bit of weather blew up and and it blew the boat away from where they'd fallen," adding that the boat couldn't be started</p> <p>"It was a heroic effort, really, from Ryan to stay afloat as long as he did to save his daughter.</p> <p>"He eventually ran out of energy. Some jet skiers came along a little bit later and I don't know how - it's just a miracle - that the little girl was still afloat.</p> <p>"Ryan went under and subsequently passed away. Really tragic events and we send our condolences out to Sheena, who is Billy's sister and the wife of Ryan. Those four little girls that have lost their dad."</p> <p>Queensland Police have not yet released the full circumstances of what occurred, but Inspector Glenn Cameron said preliminary investigations have revealed "the actions of the man who is now deceased saved his young daughter’s life." </p> <p>Inspector Cameron reportedly said that Craig's daughter was taken to Mackay Base Hospital as a precaution, and whether they were wearing life jackets will be part of the investigation. </p> <p>A report will also be prepared for the coroner. </p> <p>"Our thoughts are with the family who've lost a loved one in these tragic circumstances," Cameron said.</p> <p>"We never want to see something like this happen."</p> <p><em>Images: Seven/ Facebook</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Jumping castle operator in court over Hillcrest tragedy

<p>A jumping castle operator who was charged over the 2021 <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/children-killed-in-hillcrest-tragedy-identified-amid-overwhelming-support" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hillcrest Primary School tragedy</a> is expected to face court for the first time.</p> <p>Six children, Peter Dodt, Jye Sheehan, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, Zane Mellor, Addison Stewart and Chace Harrison, were killed when the inflatable castle was lifted into the air on December 2021. </p> <p>The students were enjoying the end-of-year celebrations with their classmates on the oval of the school in Devonport in Tasmania's northwest, when the tragic incident occurred. </p> <p>Rosemary Anne Gamble, the operator who worked for Taz-Zorb - the company who supplied and set up the castle - was charged in November after failing to comply with workplace health and safety requirements. </p> <p>It is alleged that the castle was tethered at four of its eight anchorage points and the pegs  recommended by the manufacturer, or a suitable alternative, weren't installed properly. </p> <p>According to court documents, seven students were on the castle when it became dislodged and airborne due to a "significant" weather event, causing them to fall from a height of about 10 metres.</p> <p>A few others were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/heartbreaking-detail-as-mother-of-jumping-castle-victim-speaks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reportedly</a> injured, with one nearby student being struck by the blower attached to the castle. </p> <p>It is alleged that Gamble failed to ensure the anchorage system was sufficient to prevent the castle from lifting, and failed to ensure there were pegs at each anchor point as per the manufacturer's instructions. </p> <p>It is also alleged that Gamble failed to provide adequate information, including manufacturer's operating manual to the two workers she was in charge of at the time. </p> <p>She is expected to face the Devonport Magistrates Court for the first time on Friday. </p> <p>Preparations for the coronial <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/update-on-inquest-into-hillcrest-primary-deaths" target="_blank" rel="noopener">inquest</a> was put on hold because of the criminal charges. </p> <p><em>Image: Twitter/ ABC News</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

“It turned to tragedy”: Three people dead after mass drowning

<p dir="ltr">Three people have died and another is in critical condition after drowning at the popular Phillip Island beach in Victoria. </p> <p dir="ltr">Emergency response teams were quick on the scene on Wednesday afternoon after four people were unresponsive after being pulled from the water at the beach notorious for dangerous rips. </p> <p dir="ltr">The victims are a man in his 40s and two women in their 20s, while another woman in her 20s is fighting for her life after being airlifted to hospital. </p> <p dir="ltr">An eyewitness told <em>7News</em> it was a “horrible” situation that unfolded. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The family was really upset,” the witness, Alex Tzatzimakis, said. “There seemed to be a group of 10 people who came here for a really nice day. Obviously it turned to tragedy.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She said that family members of the victims were crying and consoling each other, while beachgoers who pulled the bodies from the water attempted to perform CPR. </p> <p dir="ltr">One man could be heard wailing, <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/bass-coast/emergency-services-converge-on-forrest-caves-beach-phillip-island/news-story/1c8708162bf57f6f97c23e4306aedb2a">according to the <em>Herald Sun</em></a>, “I told them not to go – I should have been there.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The incident is understood to have occurred at Forrest Caves, a popular tourist destination on Phillip Island known for its sea caves, but is also an unpatrolled beach known for its dangerous rips. </p> <p dir="ltr">Locals have reacted to the horrific drowning, with many admitting they would not ever attempt to swim in the hazardous waters. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s treacherous out there,” one person wrote on Facebook. “Definitely not a swimming beach. Only if you are a strong swimmer and understand rips.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“So, so sad,” a second wrote. “Great surfing beach but not a swimming beach.”</p> <p dir="ltr">A third said, “If the island is going to be pushed so hard as a tourist destination there will be more and more incidents.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Drownings around Australia have risen this summer, with many people flocking to less busy unpatrolled beaches to escape the summer heat. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the days before the fatal Phillip Island drowning, Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Adam Weir told <em><a href="https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/tragic-summer-high-number-of-drowning-deaths-on-australian-beaches/video/a66cc0032dfe6482f9d7e023179de36c">Sky News Australia</a></em> the issue is “very concerning”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’ve had 33 drowning deaths around the country so far,” Mr Weir said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And we’ve still got a month to go in summer, so it has been a tragic summer.”</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 18pt;"><em>Image credits: 9News</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-3041d316-7fff-6761-69a3-b703dcdbba4d"></span></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Search for missing Socceroo ends in tragedy

<p>Police officers have found the body of Stephen Laybutt in New South Wales bushland, less than 48 hours after he went missing. </p> <p>The ex-Socceroo was reported missing on Saturday morning after he couldn't be located or contacted by his loved ones, sparking a massive search for the 46-year-old. </p> <p>Laybutt's car was found near a set of shops in Cabartia, on the NSW North Coast, at 11:30am on Saturday, only a few kilometres away from where he was last seen at a friend's house at Casuarina on Friday night. </p> <p>Officers then located Stephen Laybutt’s body close to Cabarita at about 7pm on Sunday after an extensive police search.</p> <p>Tributes have begun to pour in for the ex-Socceroo, with football legend Robbie Slater describing his death as a tragedy. </p> <p>“He was a very good player, I played against him a few times when he was with the Brisbane Strikers,” Mr Slater told <em>The Daily Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>“He was a big guy, uncompromising, he had a very good career... He was an extremely courageous person."</p> <p>A talented footballer, Mr Laybutt played 15 matches for the Socceroos between 2000 and 2004 and remained with the A-League’s Newcastle Jets until he ruptured his achilles tendon in 2008 and was forced to retire. </p> <p>He also represented Australia at the 2000 Olympics with the Olyroos team.</p> <p>After retiring, Laybutt came out as gay, later revealing that hiding his sexuality was something that had a “massive effect” on his career. </p> <p>Mr Laybutt also made headlines in 2021 when he selflessly donated his kidney to a man on dialysis he had met while working at the rehabilitation unit at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Major update in Daylesford crash tragedy

<p dir="ltr">One month after the devastating tragedy in the regional town of Daylesford that killed five people, charges have finally been laid. </p> <p dir="ltr">In November, a car crashed into the beer garden of The Royal Hotel where two families were having dinner. </p> <p dir="ltr">The <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/there-were-bodies-everywhere-five-people-dead-in-horror-pub-crash#xd_co_f=YTM5MzVmOGQtNTY4My00NWE1LThjNDctMTUxMjJlNjVhMWNj~" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fatal car crash</a> claimed the lives of three adults and two children, critically injuring others. </p> <p dir="ltr">Now, almost six weeks on from the tragedy, the 66-year-old driver of the car has been charged. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 66-year-old man who was driving the white BMW SUV has been charged with five counts of culpable driving causing death, two counts of negligently causing serious injury and seven counts of reckless conduct endangering life.</p> <p dir="ltr">The man is due to face the Melbourne Magistrates' Court later on Monday. </p> <p dir="ltr">As the investigation commenced into the incident, it was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/new-details-revealed-as-daylesford-driver-s-lawyer-speaks-out" target="_blank" rel="noopener">alleged</a> that the man suffered a medical emergency moments before the crash. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Mount Macedon local is an insulin-dependent diabetic, and allegedly required immediate treatment at the scene. </p> <p dir="ltr">Solicitor Martin Amad, who is representing the driver, said his client returned a negative alcohol breath test after the crash, and has no previous criminal history.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It was a terrible tragedy," Amad said in the days after the crash. </p> <p dir="ltr">"He is deeply distressed and feels great empathy for the families and friends of the victims and wider Daylesford community."</p> <p dir="ltr">On November 5th, Pratibha Sharma, her husband Jatin Chugh, and her daughter Anvi were enjoying the last of the weekend at the Royal Hotel in Daylesford when a white BMW SUV crashed into the beer garden. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sharma and Chugh died at the scene, while nine-year-old Anvi was flown to hospital but did not survive her injuries and was later pronounced dead. </p> <p dir="ltr">The family were joined by their friends, Vivek Bhatia, 38, his wife, and their two kids at the pub. </p> <p dir="ltr">Vivek and his 11-year-old son Vihaan were both killed in the crash, while the 36-year-old woman, and a second son, aged six, were taken to hospital for their injuries.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: ABC News</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

"Such a tragedy": Shannon Noll pulls dying teen from car wreck

<p>Singer Shannon Noll ha found himself at the centre of a tragic accident on a remote stretch of Ellangowan Road, just kilometres away from his northern New South Wales home. The incident involved an 18-year-old couple, Kobi Roberts-Walker and Jaselle Melrose, whose car veered off the road, crashing into a tree in a horrifying double fatal accident.</p> <p>Noll, best known for his time on <em>Australian Idol</em>, was on his way back to his family property when he became one of the first responders to the accident. The singer, faced with a burning car and desperate circumstances, didn't hesitate to take action. He bravely dragged the dying Jaselle Melrose from the wreckage and performed CPR in an attempt to save her life.</p> <p>In a statement to <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/two-teenagers-die-in-fiery-crash-after-hitting-tree/news-story/3bdf4004457b59e2078bff3caf0b3749" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Daily Telegraph</a>, Noll expressed the gravity of the situation, saying, “Last night was such a tragedy. I just reacted and did what I could to assist the young woman at the scene. Our prayers and condolences go out to their families at this terribly sad time.”</p> <p>Noll's manager, Paul Paoliello, revealed that the singer was deeply affected by the incident: “I can confirm Shannon did provide assistance last night and he is obviously quite shaken up by what happened,” Paoliello said.</p> <p>The local community, already shaken by the accident, has been left heartbroken over the loss of two young lives.</p> <p>Volunteer rescue workers who were present at the scene attested to Noll's immediate and courageous response. Describing the situation, a witness mentioned that Noll "literally ran" to the car engulfed in flames, pulling the passenger away before emergency services arrived. Others at the scene acknowledged Noll's determination to make a difference and lauded his hands-on approach.</p> <p>The victims, Kobi Roberts-Walker and Jaselle Melrose, were both 18 years old and deeply connected to their local community. Roberts-Walker, known by many in the area, had recently posted their car for sale, citing their anticipation of a growing family. Melrose, a recent graduate of Casino High School, was recognised for her academic achievements.</p> <p>The crash occurred on a notoriously hazardous section of Ellangowan Road, known for its narrow roadway and limited lighting. Locals have raised concerns about the safety of this stretch, and the New South Wales Police are currently investigating the incident to determine the cause and whether speed played a role.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

“I remember the day she was born": Lilie James' grandma speaks out

<p>Lilie James' grandmother has spoken out for the first time since her granddaughter's <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/tragic-new-details-emerge-in-alleged-murder-of-lilie-james" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tragic death</a>. </p> <p>The 21-year-old water polo coach was found dead with severe head wounds in the gym bathroom of St Andrew’s Cathedral School on the 25th of October. </p> <p>On Monday, her grieving grandmother Barbara spoke with <em>2GB</em> radio host Ben Fordham to share an emotional tribute. </p> <p>“I remember the day she was born, bright as a button coming out and never stopped since then,” she told Fordham. </p> <p>“Just kept learning and having fun. She had a lot of fun, Lilie, and she was so kind.</p> <p>“Some people come into this world – I think they are so special, and they don’t stay long, and I think that was my granddaughter.”</p> <p>St Andrew’s Cathedral School will hold a special assembly in honour of James on Monday, with students expected to return to the school for the first time since her passing. </p> <p>Barbara's statement comes just days after James' family issued a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/lilie-james-grieving-family-breaks-silence-as-body-is-found-in-manhunt-for-suspect" target="_blank" rel="noopener">statement</a> thanking the community for their support during these tough times. </p> <p>“We are devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Lilie James,” they said in the official statement released at the time. </p> <p>“She was vibrant, outgoing, and very much loved by her family and friends.</p> <p>"We are tremendously grateful for the support of our community at this difficult time."</p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Images: Facebook</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Guy Pearce's family tragedy

<p>Guy Pearce has revealed that his mother has passed away after a battle with Alzheimers disease. </p> <p>The A-lister took to Twitter, now called X, to share that his mum, Anne Cocking, has "kicked the bucket". </p> <p>“Lost my beautiful Mum today. ‘Kicked the bucket’ as she would say,” Pearce said alongside a series of family photos. </p> <p>“What a sharp, fierce and witty woman Anne was, until Alzheimer’s struck in 2010." </p> <p>“It’s been a long and winding road. A fitting song 4 ur (sic) departure Mum. Tracy and I will miss u enormously. We’ll always love u XX”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Lost my beautiful Mum today. ‘Kicked the bucket’ as she would say. What a sharp, fierce &amp; witty woman Anne was, until Alzheimer’s struck in 2010. It’s been a long &amp; winding road. A fitting song 4 ur departure Mum. Tracy &amp; I will miss u enormously. We’ll always love u XX <a href="https://t.co/SfjFWUFRwr">pic.twitter.com/SfjFWUFRwr</a></p> <p>— Guy Pearce (@TheGuyPearce) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheGuyPearce/status/1693769859065155845?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 21, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>The photos showed Guy with his mum and sister Tracy, as well as a photo of his mum and dad on their wedding day. </p> <p>Pearce’s father Stuart, a Royal Air Force test pilot, died when Pearce he was just eight years old.</p> <p>Anne and his father Stuart moved the family, including his older sister Tracy, from Cambridgeshire, in England’s east, to Geelong, when he was three.</p> <p>In 2017, Guy took to Twitter to admit that he was struggling with his mother's illness. </p> <p>“Sadly her Alzheimer’s means she doesn’t know me anymore." </p> <p>“However, I know I’ll carry her wisdom with me forever.”</p> <p>Speaking to UK newspaper <em><a title="go.skimresources.com" href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=130574X1592710&amp;isjs=1&amp;jv=15.4.2-stackpath&amp;sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hellomagazine.com%2Fcelebrities%2F500762%2Fguy-pearce-inundated-with-support-over-heartbreaking-loss-of-mother-anne-cocking%2F&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thetimes.co.uk%2Farticle%2Fguy-pearce-i-was-stoned-exhausted-questioning-it-all-3rbgd3pm5&amp;xs=1&amp;xtz=240&amp;xuuid=7669d9847d681ea7909ea70337f312ed&amp;xcust=xid:fr1692744202180gbi&amp;xjsf=other_click__auxclick%20%5B2%5D" data-orig-url="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=130574X1592710&amp;isjs=1&amp;jv=15.4.2-stackpath&amp;sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hellomagazine.com%2Fcelebrities%2F500762%2Fguy-pearce-inundated-with-support-over-heartbreaking-loss-of-mother-anne-cocking%2F&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thetimes.co.uk%2Farticle%2Fguy-pearce-i-was-stoned-exhausted-questioning-it-all-3rbgd3pm5&amp;xs=1&amp;xtz=240&amp;xuuid=7669d9847d681ea7909ea70337f312ed&amp;xcust=xid%3Afr1692721488482ecj&amp;xjsf=other_click__auxclick%20%5B2%5D" data-ml-id="0" data-ml="true" data-xid="fr1692744202180gbi">The Times</a></em> in 2002, Pearce talked how he supported his mother in bringing up sister Tracey who has the developmental disorder Cornelia de Lange syndrome.</p> <p>“A big part of why I never wanted to have children was because I helped raise my sister so I felt like I’d done my parenting." </p> <p>“For a long time, I definitely knew I was never going to have kids. It was quite definite.”</p> <p>Despite his opposition, Guy and his wife Carice welcomed their son Monte in 2016. </p> <p>“I am just besotted with my child. I mean, it’s ridiculous, although it took a while for me to actually believe that my child was really my child,” he told <em>The Times</em>. </p> <p>“Even though my body was kind of going, ‘You’re my child and I just want to hold you close,’ my brain was going: ‘No, you decided years ago you were never going to have a child.’”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

"It has been the hardest time": Ronan Keating speaks out after family tragedy

<p>Ronan Keating has broken his silence for the first time since the sudden death of his brother. </p> <p>The Irish musician and former Boyzone member said it has been the "hardest time" dealing with the sudden loss, after his older brother Ciaran was killed in a car crash in his native Ireland in July.</p> <p>On Saturday, Ronan addressed the tragedy for the first time, revealing how he and his family are dealing with their grief. </p> <p>He wrote on Instagram, "Just wanted to say thank you for the love and respect you have shown my family over the last 5 weeks. It has been the hardest time for us all, and everyone is trying to manage a life now without our brother (very hard to even type that 💔)." </p> <p>"Thank you for all your messages of support and also respecting our privacy during this time."</p> <p>Along with the caption, Ronan shared a series of snaps from South Africa, where the family are holidaying to get away from their busy life and take time to reckon with the tragedy. </p> <p>"There is no more fitting a place to heal, than in South Africa surrounded by Mother Nature and great people and our little bundles of joy Cooper and Coco, have kept us going constantly. Thank you god."</p> <p>"Back to work for me in another part of the world I love now… it all seems rather difficult to make sense of but trying my best. "</p> <p>"Take care of each other and from Storm, myself and all my family, thank you."</p> <p>The post was flooded with comments of well wishes and condolences, while fans encouraged Ronan and his family to take as much time out as they needed to heal.</p> <p>Just days after the post, Ronan shared a sweet tribute to his wife Storm, as the couple celebrated their eight year wedding anniversary while on their family getaway. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CwHDRkGpnbQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CwHDRkGpnbQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Ronan Keating (@rokeating)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Along with a heartwarming video of some of their best moments together, Ronan wrote, "Thank you for the absolute unwavering honesty and love. Without you I would be somewhere very dark. Your love is my compass."</p> <p>"Eight years married but a lifetime together. The memories the laughs the babies the family. It’s you and me love. Happy anniversary."</p> <p>"In this lifetime and everyone one that the universe gives after that I will find you. No two spirits were more connected."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

Our Partners